Can the US military be so cavalier about allowing young men to wear army boots on the battlefield?
The Pentagon is taking a big step toward easing restrictions on military boots.
In July, the Defense Department announced that it would begin allowing military-style boots for young men under 18 in the United States, and allow them to wear them for at least two years after that.
The Pentagon also announced that women will be allowed to wear boots, as long as they meet military standards.
But some members of the military are unhappy about the changes.
“This is absolutely disgusting,” said a former U.S. Marine who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“If you’re going to allow a young male to wear these things, you have to allow for their health and safety.
If you’re doing that, you’re taking a military risk.
It’s not about the boots.”
“The military is still going to be the front line of defense, but now it’s going to look at us like we’re criminals,” he added.
“The only way to protect them is to take care of them.
We’re not criminals.
We need to get better and more efficient.”
The decision by the military to allow young men into the military is part of a broader trend to allow women into the armed forces.
As NPR reported in February, a U.K. military recruitment campaign has shown women are much more willing to volunteer for military service than men.
And in 2014, a study of more than 3,000 U.N. peacekeepers in the Horn of Africa found that men are significantly more likely to be deployed to the region than women.
“I was a woman in the armed services,” said Jennifer M. Hagan, a former Marine in Iraq.
“I was fighting in Afghanistan.
I was in the U.A.E. [Argentina].
I was on the front lines.
I went through hell.
I saw horrible things, but I had to fight.
So, it’s very easy for a woman to become a soldier.”
In response to the decision, the American Legion and the National Women’s Law Center are filing a lawsuit in the US District Court for the District of Columbia seeking to have the Department of Defense remove the ban on women in combat boots.
In their lawsuit, the groups say the restrictions are an unnecessary invasion of privacy and constitute a violation of the rights of military service members.
“The ban on the sale of military-grade combat boots to girls under 18 is an invasion of their privacy,” the lawsuit reads.
“This ban deprives girls of the opportunity to serve in the Armed Forces and violates their rights to privacy, free speech, and the right to equality.”